Ground Zero Brings Retro Favorite Pitfall Harry To Life For Activision

Ground Zero has launched a TV campaign for Activision, its first work for the video game maker since winning the estimated $5 million account last month.
The first 30-second spot from the Santa Monica, Calif., agency supports Pitfall 3D, Activision’s new platform adventure game. The ad is airing on national and cable stations nationwide throughout the month.
To showcase Pitfall 3D and its main character, Pitfall Harry, Ground Zero tapped into the current popularity of nostalgic “retro” gaming. The spot uses characters from other old video games to highlight Pitfall’s evolution from a classic arcade style to the current 3-D version. The ad shows a geriatric group of characters similar to those from such games as Pong, Pac Man and Centipede sitting in a barber shop watching a rejuvenated Pitfall Harry on the screen.
“Well, look at Mr. Big Shot,” remarks the character who appears to be Pac Man.
“Looks good. Probably had a facelift,” adds another character.
The spot cuts to the video screen, where Harry is battling enemies with a pickax.
Pitfall 3D is the latest incarnation of the 16-year-old Pitfall game. Introduced in 1980 for the Atari 2600 game system, the first version of Pitfall challenged players to swing on vines across yawning pits, avoid scorpions and collect gold bars. The pit-hopping action game has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.
“It’s been great fun bringing a nostalgic character like Pitfall Harry to life,” said Andrew Gledhill, the agency’s head of planning. “The Pitfall 3D television campaign will expose a whole audience to Pitfall Harry, while introducing those already familiar with the series to an all-new Pitfall experience.”
The agency is working on other ads for the Santa Monica-based video game marketer’s upcoming titles.